Thursday, December 13, 2018

How to Harrow a Chaos Knight

I’m working on a Chaos Knight conversion. 
This is a project that sat on my hobby desk, barely started, for over a year… and then more recently, after several fits and false starts, lurched into motion… and now, after a few weeks, of gathering momentum, is beginning to cohere:

At this point I have gained enough confidence in my progress to start sharing the project here.
So, let me take you through the process so far….
I started with a Knight kit and a rummage through my bits boxes, looking for inspiration…

This was what I laid out at first. Just some vague notions, really, with no firm picture or blueprint for what I wanted to do.
As things have turned out, I did not end up using all or even most of this stuff, and found many other components that are not shown. So far, the project has pieced together components from the Nurgle Maggoth Lord kit, along with odds and ends from the Chaos Warshrine, a Forgefiend, a Soul Grinder … (The project turned out to be ridiculously expensive from a source model point of view! Though I have a lot of tasty bits to apply to other projects…)

So, to work. First I assembled several basic Knight components, including the legs and torso…

Then, I added horns and tusks to the head plate:
Alright, that was a start. It’s chaos, right? So, the model needs horns and skulls and eight-arrowed circles and whatnot.
But then for the “head” of the creature I wanted something more dramatic. I wanted this project to create something more than simply a Knight festooned with skulls and spikes and chaos graffiti. What I envision is a daemon engine. An ancient beast. A nightmare, a violation, a desecration. A possession that is ripping its host apart and flooding it with the ruination of cHaOsssss itself. I wanted to spawn an unholy amalgam of machine spirit and sacrificial gore and eldritch energy and sheer, raw malevolence. In short and in sum, I wanted to Harrow this host.
Accordingly, what was wanted at the helm of this creature, I decided, was not a face or a helmet, but a ravening maw, blind and snouting and drooling and devouring.
Something like this, to start with:

Then, because I wanted the daemon to also have (in unholy union) a distinctly Dark Mechanicus dimension, I applied a mane of cabling…

… then worked in some greenstuff blending to graft on a daemonic skin

I also worked in few rounds of greenstuff sculpting on the plate, trying to create the look of the daemon’s horns violently ripping their way through the Knight’s once-sacred, once-inviolate armor:



I tried for a similar effect along the back of the plate, trying to suggest something like a spine:

And I worked up a few chaos touches for the back of the torso:

So, I’m starting to get the overall mood and look of the effect I wanted:

I have a long way to go. But I’m getting excited about this one.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Emerging from Dormancy

Obviously, this blog has fallen silent for a long while.

Actually, I suppose it would be more accurate to say it died. Because (to put things even more starkly), I starved it.

I think I'll poke the body a bit. See if I can't stir things back to life again.
I've been hobbying again, you see. Working on an off again -- increasingly, on again -- on another batch of greenstuffed grotesquerie. Another generation of Tzeentchian  possession. Another round of Harrowing.

Specifically, over the past few months I've begun work on Harrowed articulations of Exalted Flamers, a Daemon Prince with wings, Burning Chariots, a Herald of Tzeentch, and a Herald of Tzeentch on a chariot. And biggest and stompiest of all, a Chaos Knight.

Oh, it's a cluttered mess on my desk at the moment. Tzeentch Itself might approve.

So, follow if you're intrigued. I promise I have a lot to share over the coming months.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Dark Vengeance!

The new chaos models are soooo tasty! Now that I have the Dark Vengeance sprues in hand, I can confirm: the detailing on the models and the quality of the molding is exemplary. GW continues to up its game and set new standards for the industry. (And now they really need to, don't they? Given all of the competition that's springing up.)

And I ardently love and enthusiastically endorse GW's evolving take on chaos. The Chosen models in particular look every bit as twisted and scarred. grotesque and lethal as the recent Possessed figures. In other words, they radiate Chaos and corruption. I feel as though GW has found the aesthetic and achieved the sculpting/molding capability to create creatures that truly deserve the name of Chaos.

I initially resolved to buy Dark Vengeance anticipating the cultist models. Which are pretty good -- some truly wicked, others a bit cartoonish.

When pictures of the Hellbrute started surfacing a week or two ago, I grew truly excited. And this model does not disappoint. In fact, it delights! The way the design grafts "daemon engine" with "organic," and the way it crafts horror as well as "bad ass" in the look and feel of the creature -- it all feels the way I imagine chaos to be. This is what I have been trying to achieve with the Harrowed. And GW, of course, executes on the vision far better than I can.

But the gems in the kit, I feel now that I've opened it, are the Chosen. Evil, evil things. No longer human or super-human. Ambassadors of pain. Nightmares with guns. Fucking chaos.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sacred Shennanigans: Tzeentch List Concepts

I've been idly playing with list concepts for Tzeentch daemon armies, working from the base idea of nine being the sacred number for the Changer of Ways. And I've come up with some pretty lethal ideas.
Conversion, Harrowed, Lord Of Change
The core idea is to field nine units of nine. Such as:

9 flamers, 1 a pyromancer = 212
9 flamers, 1 a pyromancer = 212
9 flamers, 1 a pyromancer = 212

9 screamers = 225
9 screamers = 225
9 screamers = 225

9 horrors, 1 bolt = 163
9 horrors, 1 bolt = 163
9 horrors, 1 bolt, changeling = 168

led by:
Herald of Tz, disc (65)
Herald of Tz, disc (65)
Herald of Tz, disc (65)

There: 9 units of 9, heralded by 3 prophets of Tzeentch. 2000 points on the nose. In this version, the Heralds probably join the flamers.

Or a variation, mixing up the Heralds a bit for variety's sake, kitting them out for each to join, respectively, a unit of Flamers, a unit of Screamers, a unit of Horrors:

Herald (50)
Herald, disc (65)
Herald, disc, Boon of Mutation (95)

9 flamers = 207
9 flamers = 207
9 flamers = 207

9 screamers = 225
9 screamers = 225
9 screamers = 225

9 horrors, 1 bolt = 163
9 horrors, 1 bolt = 163
9 horrors, 1 bolt, changeling = 168

Again, 2000 on the nose.

These are not armies meant for casual, friendly games. Obviously there's a lot of repetition here. And the lists take advantage of some of the strongest units in the codex. I'm not technically min-maxing, but these armies are honed to very sharp edges. That many Flamers and Screamers on the board would rip shit up and, probably, create enough havoc to protect my fragile troops choices, if I played it skillfully.

I do like the sacred number concept. Against competitive armies, this might be a fun idea to play. Say, in a game where an opponent knew to bring some heavy iron of his own. That would let us have fun, and meanwhile give me an opportunity to play with the narrative possibilities of fielding a sacred phalanx of Change....


Monday, August 13, 2012

Tzeentch be praised! Screamers look much more playable. I'll work up another three to add to the six I put together last year, enabling me to field the creatures in sacred formations of nine. My conversion idea for this unit (which moves as jump troops, and eats into armor) looked like this:
 Chaos Daemons, Conversion, Daemons, Screamers
I'll tinker a bit with the idea. And try out a version using the street lights from the 40k imperial scenery kit. That project is just beginning:
 Conversion, Daemons, Harrowed, Screamers

Meanwhile, Flamers of Tzeentch in their new manifestation look as lethal as ever -- and the points cost has come down. Meaning rather than field them in suicidal units of three (which never struck me as being particularly interesting to play, tactically speaking), I'll put together larger squads. My existing Flamers look like this:
 Chaos Daemons, Conversion, Daemons, Flamers
New candidates include this wretch:
Conversion, Daemons, Flamers, Harrowed, Wi
... Conversion, Daemons, Flamers, Harrowed, Wi
And this yet more debased monstrosity:
 Conversion, Daemons, Flamers, Harrowed, Work In Progress
... who'll definitely have a C'thullu vibe...
Conversion, Daemons, Flamers, Harrowed, Wi
 ...and who will be painted with "eye"s all over his bloated brain/skull.

Conversion, Daemons, Flamers, Harrowed, Wi

(One thing I like about this one is how his form subtly mirrors the GW Flamers' lines.) So I'm back at it. The work here is still very rough, still very much WIP, with a lot more embellishment and cleaning up to come. Thanks for looking. Any input would be most welcome.

Friday, August 10, 2012


Time to bring this blog back to life.  The arrival of Sixth Edition, in tandem with new daemon releases and the imminent arrival of a new Chaos Space Marines codex, has revived my interest in Warhammer 40k.  I want to dive back in.

With both feet, this time. I want to get back to writing narratives, modeling, and painting. As well as playing, of course.

Played a great game last night at our local club, with Matt. Chaos, Harrowed, Warhammer 40,000
He brought Tyranids, including a nasty Flying Hive Tyrant (tricked up with Biomancy--Iron Arm), a Mawloc, several Zoanthropes, some Hive Guard, a Tervigon, a Warrior squad, and an assortment of little bugs (Termagaunts, Hormagaunts, Genestealers). I'm experimenting with new lists, including CSM allies. And decided to roll with Tzeentch: a Lord of Change, Bluescribes, a Soul Grinder, Screamers, Flamers, and Horrors. For allies, I enlisted an accompanying Word Bearers detachment: a Sorcerer, a Tactical Squad, and a small Obliterator Cult. We're both wrapping our heads around the new rule set, getting a feel for the new dynamics of play. Each of us had a flying monstrous creature. Because I never had an ideal chance to capitalize on the possibility of grounding the Flyrant, and because he never seemed as dangerous as other bugs already on the ground, I never tried to ground him. He did manage to ground my Lord of Change after a few rounds, and then came at him with the Warriors. Meanwhile, the CSM/Sorcerer squad anchored my back lines, absorbed a lot of Tyranid shooting (more or less successfully), then a charge from the Mawloc (much less successfully). Chaos, Harrowed, Warhammer 40,000
The Word Bearers may not have killed much, but they did at least lure the Tyranids into a general advance that let me slip daemons into his back lines, where I created a series of more favorable match-ups (Horrors shooting Genestealers; Screamers taking out the Tervigon; Horrors shooting up the Zoanthropes....) Before we ran out of time, we each killed about equal amounts of each other's army. And had a great time.
 Chaos, Harrowed, Warhammer 40,000
An auspicious way to spend a Thursday.... And (hopefully) to relaunch this blog!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Back to it

Aaak. Nearly June, and I've let this blog lie neglected for far too long. My apologies. Lately I haven't had as much time for hobbies as I'd like. That and, many of the people I usually wargame with are playing a lot of Blood Bowl lately -- a game that for some reason never really took hold of my imagination.

I have been picking away at a few daemonic projects here and there. Notably my daemon prince conversion -- the Nurgle Prince. He's sculpted now:

Chaos Daemons, Conversion, Daemon Prince, Daemons, Nurgle, Work In Progress

As you can see, I decided to try sculpting some hooves for the creature's "feet" -- which worked out well enough, I think.

I also tried working in a "wound" on the cab of the sentinel:

Chaos Daemons, Conversion, Daemon Prince, Daemons, Nurgle, Work In Progress

Have to admit, I'm pleased with that part. I love the idea of the vehicle itself becoming more animal, more wounded, as possession infects the thing.

Actually, after I primed what you see here I decided to add a few more daemon tendrils, these ones uncoiling from the ruptured cab in the front (above the horn). Didn't take pictures of these, as they wouldn't stand out with most of the model primed black. You'll be able to see what I mean when I post painting-in-progress pictures, to come in a few days. (I promise!)

Thanks for looking.